Watson Wins by 5 Shots In San Diego For 2d Straight on Tour
SAN DIEGO, Jan. 30 (AP)—Tom Watson cruised in with a three underpar 69 and won the Andy Williams‐San Diego, open golf tournament by five strokes today, making it his second consecutive record‐setting victory.
Watson, who broke a tournament record by four strokes with his 14under‐par winning total in the Bing Crosby last week, took this one with a 269 total, 19 under par and bettered the tournament record by three shots.
Second place ended in a tie at 274 when Larry Nelson rolled In a 12‐foot birdie putt on the final hole and caught John Schroeder. Nelson carded a finalround 69 and Schroeder a 67.
Watson, a red‐haired, 27‐year‐old, made this one look easy. He opened the warm, sunny final round with a two‐shot lead, increased it to four at the turn, engineered a two‐stroke swing in his favor on the next hole and acquired his sixth career title by a relaxed, five‐shot margin.
Alormer British Open champion, who hag played his last nine rounds in subpar figures, Watson collected $36,000 from the total purse of $180,000 and became the year's leading money‐winner with $86,700. As a multiple title holder, he also became the third man to win his way into the World Series of Golf. Jack Nicklaus and the World Cup winner, Ernesto Perez Acosta of Mexico, are the others.
A hole‐in‐one during Thursday's first round helped, but Watson built this triumph on his domination of the par‐5 holes. He had a string of 10 consecutive birdies on those long holes, ending on the 13th today and played them 13 under par for the week.
He also chipped in once during the week, sank a shot for a birdie from a bunker on the third hole today and saved par from off the green on the 14th.
Those heroics made the title chase not a matter of who would win but by how much and left the national television commentators little to discuss except the fight for second place.
The Australian rookie, Bob Shearer, who started the last round two shots back and the only man who really had a chance to catch Watson, slipped to a 73 and was tied with Jerry McGee at 275, J.C. Snead, the winner of the last two San Diego events, never really got in the chase here. He finished with a 75 and a 283 total.
Watson now has finished fourth, first and first in his last three starts and has played those three tournaments in an outstanding 42 strokes under par.
He opened this one with a 66, followed with rounds of 67 and 67 and wrapped it up neatly with the final 69 that included a birdie on the final hole.
A Stanford graduate in psychology, Watson is rapidly becoming one of the game's finest gate attractions. He helped pull a tournament‐record 29,000 fans to the sun‐splashed, seaside Torrey Pines Golf Club, and he didn't disappoint them.